During the George Floyd riots, corporations frightened of being tagged as racist plastered the BLM logo on every available surface and showered millions of dollars on Black Lives Matter, without giving a thought to what it would be used for. I’m sure they had some vague notion that it would help black communities. It’s been reported that BLM took in over $90 million and sent over $21 million to local BLM chapters, but black community leaders complained that not a dime has been given to help neighborhoods destroyed by riots and crime. BLM has come under increasing scrutiny, and it’s not pretty.
BLM’s founders seem to be more interested in buying pricey real estate than helping minority neighborhoods, and their failure to comply with laws governing nonprofits has led to several states launching investigations (even California!) The latest state to demand accountability is Indiana, whose attorney general filed a lawsuit against BLM, saying it’s critical to protect Indiana consumers “from this house of cards.” I suppose they could argue that they’re hardly a "nonprofit," but that’s not a legal defense.
Now, at last, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has finally released its first financial disclosure statement, and it’s only raising more questions. For instance, the group’s largest payout was over $2.1 million to a consulting firm owned by one of its board members. The second-biggest was over $969,000 for “live production, design and media” paid to a company owned by the father of BLM co-founder Patrice Cullors’ baby. Other expenses included $709,190 for “communications, IT and digital,” $696,364 to a Los Angeles-based company for “media planning and placement,” and $504,000 to Resistance Labs in Oakland for “tech support.” I wonder how many black lives those expenditures saved. By comparison, BLM gave only $200,000 to the Trayvon Martin Foundation that helps families of kids who are victims of gun violence.
The director of the watchdog group Charity Watch said BLM “had no whistleblower policy, no document destruction and retention policy, and only one board member during the financial reporting period. It reports having and regularly monitoring and enforcing a written conflict of interest policy, but…one person can’t monitor and enforce a conflict of interest policy over themselves. It’s frightening, isn’t it, to consider that this much taxpayer-subsidized public money was being overseen by only one person?”
While I can abhor BLM’s sleazy financial tactics and condemn the way they’ve exploited and inflamed racial divisions to enrich themselves, I have a hard time working up much sympathy for the people who gladly handed over their money. There are many reputable charities and religious organizations that genuinely help people, and with very low overhead. BLM just understood their target audience: guilty white liberals who think you solve every problem by throwing money at it. They were geniuses at making it appear that they were the place where liberals should throw their money. At least for once, they were throwing away their own money and not the taxpayers’.